Jagdverband 44 was formed in February 1945 on Hitler's orders, to fly the Me 262 "Stormbird", the world's first operational jet fighter, and demonstrate its superiority. The unit was led by the legendary Adolf Galland, who recruited some of Germany's leading aces into it, to the extent that it was said that the Knight's Cross was its unofficial badge. JV 44 engaged the US Ninth Army Air Force over Bavaria and, with its significant speed advantage and powerful armament of cannon and rockets, the Me 262 proved a formidable interceptor in the hands of its expert pilots. In its brief operational existence, never able to get more than six jets in the air at any one time, this small unit achieved approximately 50 kills in less than a month. Unfortunately for the German defensive effort (though Galland himself was glad not to have prolonged the war) there were not enough Me 262s to have any overall effect on the Allied air campaign.
This book is a dramatic record of a highly individual unit and an exciting early chapter in the history of the jet fighter. Four of the world's ten surviving Me 262s are major attractions at flight museums in the USA and recently constructed replicas will soon be a feature of air shows around the nation and the "experten" aces of the Luftwaffe have an enduring fascination.
"Aviation Elite Unit books are a departure from the usual Aircraft of the Aces ... and focus on units and their histories instead of specific planes and fronts. Jagdverband 44 covers the squadron of experten ... shows off some of the specialized weapons the Me262 used and details some of the interesting jet to fighter combats that occurred. Air war enthusiasts will find [this book] enjoyable and interesting to read ... the color plates are invaluable references when painting [Me262] aircrafts." - Michael Koznarsky, Historical Miniature Gamer (Issue 11)
"Again the text is exemplorary and achieves the perfect balance btween narrative and personal account to not only describe the history, but also to bring it to life." Scale Aircraft Modelling (August 2008). "This book is very well written, and conveys the sense of dedication and hopelessness that these men must have felt during the closing days of the war. The book is as much about personalities as equipment, but provides a wealth of information about the airplanes used. It will be extremely useful to modelers."- Robert Forsyth, International Plastic Modelers Society (July 2008)
"All in all, this is a superlative book on the subject that will be treasured by both historians and modelers alike. It is one that I can recommend to you without reservation."-Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (May 2008)